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Cliveden Conversations

August 8, 2012

Don’t forget, the first of this year’s Cliveden Conversations takes place tomorrow!

Cliveden (6401 Germantown Avenue)

Cliveden Conversations is an annual series of free forums that seek to present audiences with the latest research while challenging them to perceive history in new ways. Activists, academics, and community members alike are invited to participate in moderated discussions following a presentation by an expert on a particular issue involving the Germantown/Mt. Airy community. This program helps Cliveden to better understand its role in this community and also encourages the community itself to develop a stronger sense of shared history.

This Thursday, August 9, join us as storyteller Denise Valentine returns to Cliveden for “Stories of Resilience, Resistance, and Reciprocity.” With the help of funding from the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership, Valentine led the “Cliveden Scholar Project” based on the notion that storytelling can help young people evaluate history in a way that is relevant to the challenges they face going forward. Through this project, area students were presented with the opportunity to study Cliveden’s archival documents while also learning to write and tell stories based on these materials.

Denise Valentine. (Image courtesy

Valentine’s interactive presentation, which combines performance and lecture, will highlight several of the narratives developed during this project and offer ideas for future programming as well. Watch, listen, and join in as Valentine weaves historical narrative with call-and-response, folktales and hand-clap games to demonstrate the role of expressive cultural arts in the struggle for identity, continuity, and liberation.

The next conversation in this year’s series is scheduled for Thursday, August 23. Titled “Do National Historic Landmarks Represent our Historical Values?”, this discussion will feature Cliveden and its team of graduate students from the University of Michigan, who together are working towards rewriting the site’s National Historic Landmark designation.

In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned for more information on subsequent Cliveden Conversations as planned for this for this fall. Each conversation will take place from 7 PM-9 PM in Cliveden’s Carriage House. To learn more about the series or to make a reservation, please call 215.848.1777.

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